The Pittsburgh rapper was only 26
We all know about the “27” club and the tragic list of names of great artists who succumbed to their demons when they were all that age. We don’t need to roll off their names. You know who they are.
There’s a shorter but no less heartbreaking list of artists who didn’t make it to 26, one that includes such giants as Otis Redding, Gram Parsons and Hillel Slovak. And tonight, this elite but no less heartbreaking club gained another member with the passing of Pittsburgh MC Mac Miller, who according to several official reports has died of a drug overdose. 26.
Mac Miller was such an understated talent in modern hip-hop. His music was a haze of spacey emotions with the ability to sound both funky and trippy. He was pushing things forward with his distinctive flow and production style. He didn’t have to die. I was looking forward to at least 40 more years of this kid. He was playing the long game and building a great catalog that won’t be fully appreciated in this generation. This dude was on some Todd Rundgren shit, if only in spirit. The involvement of such talents as Dev Hynes of Blood Orange, Thundercat and and the guitarist John Mayer on Swimming only serves as a testament to his vision of creative musicality.
His latest and last album, Swimming, is a stoned soul picnic for the 21st century. Listening to it now for the first time, getting lost in the George Martin-emulating strings on the ninth track “Dunno,” this is what real hip-hop is all about. Mac Miller at 45 would have been Hella more interesting than Eminem at 45, that much is true.
I’m truly sorry to hear about this tragedy. He was too young to die at 26. My heart breaks for Ariana Grande, who has been through enough.
RIP Mac Miller. I believed in you, man.